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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:35 am 
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Hi all!

I've got to stop posting questions here on the forum, but I need some help.

As some of you may know, I'm looking into purchasing a new D200, second hand. One of the many uses that I'd use it for would be Astrophotography.

I'd mainly use my tele glass, especially my 500mm. I'd also hook the camera up to my Celestron 8", and it would also ride picyback.

I know that there's a fellow who goes by the username "Digz", who used a D200 for Astrophotography. If he reads this, does the D200 do a good job? Could you post a picture? I tried going to his webpage, but for some reason my connection wouldn't take me there.

Any help?

Thanks!

-Evan

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:02 am 
Any DSLR will be more than good enough for astrophotography. I can't see any particular DSLR being any better than another, unless you have a specific requirement for a particular lens or image size. So yep, the D200 would be fine for astrophotography (and anything else!)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:41 am 
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Er, the D200 is a bit noisy, if you dont have a dSLR yet look for the Canon 350D. Very clean at higher ISOs, many astrophotographers buy it for the reasons that it's light, cheap, and clean (just why I bought it too, amature astronomer).

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Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:37 pm 
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Location: Bristol, UK
Hi Evan,

Just saw this post.

I indeed have a D200 which I aim to use for AP, should the skies ever clear!!!!!

At the moment I have this shot taken with the D200 at prime focus on my SW250P DS:

Image

This was a composite of 10 frames. I also have this shot:

Image

They are by no means perfect, but that is a result of my inexperience rather than the camera.

I will be trying my hand at deep sky object during the winter months.

Being absolutely honest Nikon do not produce the best cameras for AP, Canon do. They are far more receptive to IR light and if modded (have their IR filter removed) are superb at AP. The downside is that a modded Canon isn't really any good for everyday use.

I think you should ask yourself whether this camera will be used for everyday photography or just AP?

If the answer is just AP then I would strongly suggest getting a Canon. You should be able to pick up a cheap second hand 1000D and either get it modded or see if you can pick up one that has already been modded.

If you plan to use the camera for everyday photography then I would be tempted to get the D200 as it will get you into AP really well. I plan to eventually get a dedicated CCD camera for AP but in the mean time I am happy to experiment with my D200.

HTH and if you have any questions feel free to ask :)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:27 pm 
I'll second Welly's comments.
It isn't the body of a DSLR as much as it's the glass. If you have a fast lens, almost any DSLR can take good shots. If the body happens to be "noisier" at higher ISOs, then just kick it down a notch or two and use a longer exposure.
One thing I'll add - get a good mounting system with tracking. I currently use a simple tripod with no tracking, but it really limits me on what I can do - max. of ~10 sec. exposure @ ISO-100, so I have to do multiple shots and stack them using DeepSkyStacker or Iris. It's so much simpler to just take one 5 min. exposure than to take 40-50 individual shots...

Floyd.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:59 pm 
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Quote:
I'll second Welly's comments.
It isn't the body of a DSLR as much as it's the glass. If you have a fast lens, almost any DSLR can take good shots. If the body happens to be "noisier" at higher ISOs, then just kick it down a notch or two and use a longer exposure.


Im sorry but to a certain extent this isn't true - see my post above. Of course the better the glass the better your image is likely to be but if the camera body isn't receptive to a certain range of wavelengths it doesnt matter how good the glass is it aint gonna capture it. This also assumes widefield AP which is ok but if you want to capture DSO's then you are almost certainly going to want to mount the camera to a scope of some sort.

Check out this website:

http://www.astropix.com/HTML/I_ASTROP/NIK_CAN.HTM

In particular check out the images at the bottom, you can pick out some images of the same subject to compare how Nikon and Canon do and decide what you think about modded and unmodded images..

These two images in particular show the differences between canon and nikon, both unmodded.

Unmodded Nikon:

http://www.pbase.com/todd991/image/91061504/original

Unmodded Canon:

http://www.ricksastro.com/Gallery/htm/10D_M42.htm

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:27 pm 
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The Canon is much less sensitive for IR!
I have to comment: Take a longer exposure isnt as simple as it likes to be.
From 1600 to 800 ISO is 2 times the exposure, and with a telescope that asks VERY MUCH from your motors and mount. And we are talking about experienced amatures.

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Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
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Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:42 pm 
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Ok, maybe I got that around the wrong way, Im not sure. Either way Canon is the choice of camera for AP for a host of reasons.

You are, of course right about longer exposures. The longer the exposure the more you run the risk of star trailing therefore you will need a good tracking mount. Even then you will only get upto around 2mins if your lucky, anything longer than that and you will start to need to guide.....its a slippery slope....

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:08 pm 
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Oops :oops:
I saw it wrong: The Canon is much more sensitive to IR:)
(Happy 350D owner)

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Ruben

Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:36 pm 
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I thought so, no worries Ruben, it happens to the best of us :D

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:41 pm 
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:lol:
Lol, to get back OT: The D200 is very good to take Moon shots. But 1st you need an expensive telescope for it, since the camera it a bit heavy, and you dont want it to break the focusser.
2nd, focus. You need a 2'' 1:10 focusser to focus with a dSLR more simply
3rd, for DSO you need a more clean camera+ a very big pocket:D

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Ruben

Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:14 pm 
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Hi all

I realize that Canon produces better images of DSO. It's a lot more sensitive to IR light.

Unfortunately, I have a collaboration of high quality Nikkor lenses from the '70s. I wouldn't want to replace my collection, but I plan to buy more Nikon lenses in the future. My MF lenses are wonderful! Not to mention, I love my 500mm, but it's only F8. :(

Also, I use a Celestron 8" Catadioptric telescope, with a very good tracking mount, which could be used to piggyback or just take pictures using the scope as a lens.

With film, I'd do up to a 30 minute exposure, though I used high speed film and a very wide aperture.

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Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:06 am 
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If thats the case Evan then get the D200, you wont be dissappointed.

Try it at AP and see what you think. If you seriously want to get into it, you'll probably find yourself wanted to go for an Astro CCD. This is my plan once Ive had a good go with the D200.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:14 am 
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Hi all

I could purchase a D200 to start off with, and then maybe I could buy a second body like the Canon 20Da, another 5 year old camera optimized for astrophotography. How much do these sell for second hand?

Thanks!

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:39 am 
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20Da? You could buy 2 D200s for that price, or even more.
$1700 will cost it. Please, listen to me/us.
For astrophotography in the beginning, you need a light clean camera.
The 350D is THE camera to do that, and you can replace its IR filter, all together: 300$.
Is it worth to spend so much more on a 20Da? NO.
If you're intrested in AP, buy an astrocamera (300D or 350D), and if you like to go further, replace the IR filter.
If you want to use the Nikon lenses, buy a D90, or direct the D300.
D300+350D = 20Da

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Ruben

Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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